Fall 2005, pages 5 - 24Unframing Models of Public Distribution:
From Rhetorical Situation to Rhetorical Ecologies
ABSTRACT: Whereas earlier work on rhetorical situation focuses upon the elements of audience, exigence, and constraints, this article argues that rhetorical situations operate within a network of lived practical consciousness or structures of feeling. Placing the rhetorical "elements" within this wider context destabilizes the discrete borders of a rhetorical situation. As an example of this wider context, this article explores the public rhetoric surrounding issues of urban sprawl in Austin, Texas. While public rhetorical movements can be seen as a response to the "exigence" of overdevelopment, it is also possible to situate the exigence's evocation within a wider context of affective ecologies comprised of material experiences and public feelings.